NY Jets re-sign fan favorite and special teams leader in much-needed move

Important re-signing for the Jets
Ashtyn Davis
Ashtyn Davis / Billie Weiss/GettyImages

The NY Jets added nine new players in the 2020 NFL Draft, including multiple offensive standouts they hoped would become long-term building blocks. Four years later, Ashtyn Davis is the only remaining remanent of that ill-fated draft class.

The Jets re-signed Davis on Thursday, keeping at least one member of that draft class in Florham Park for another season. Bryce Hall left to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the offseason and Mekhi Becton is expected to depart as well.

A third-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Davis struggled in his first few seasons with the Jets and was firmly on the roster bubble the last two summers. But he maximized his snaps and proved his worth this past season.

Davis played all 17 games and forced his way onto the field as the Jets' third safety, overtaking veteran Adrian Amos on the depth chart. Combine that with his special-teams prowess and Davis became an important re-sign candidate for the Jets this offseason.

Ashtyn Davis is one of the NY Jets' most important re-signings

Davis was on the field for 217 defensive snaps in 2023, and despite his limited playing time, he managed to finish with three interceptions, eight passes defended (he had five combined in his previous three seasons), and three fumble recoveries.

The former California standout had a knack for making plays in important moments. His growth was evident elsewhere as well.

Davis finished the season with a career-high 74.7 Pro Football Focus grade — far and away the highest of his career. His 77.9 PFF coverage grade actually ranked 15th among all 118 safeties to play at least 100 coverage snaps in 2023.

He wasn't penalized a single time, allowed a catch rate of just 59.1 percent on targeted passes, and allowed just 8.2 yards per catch. His 32.0 NFL passer rating when targeted was the third-best among all 118 qualified safeties.

Davis was genuinely very good last season, and the expectation is that he could compete with Tony Adams and Chuck Clark for playing time in the Jets' secondary. He's not necessarily confined to a backup role.

His return is also huge for a special-teams unit that already lost Justin Hardee this offseason. Davis has long been one of special teams coordinator Brant Boyer's favorites, so his return should provide some much-needed continuity to that unit.

The Jets needed to add safety depth and solidify their special teams. Bringing back Ashtyn Davis helps them accomplish both of those goals while rewarding a homegrown player.